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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Two Return Preparers Charged with Filing False Tax Returns for their Clients

Clients were promised large tax refunds from a fictitious government program

Two return preparers are charged with filing false tax returns for their clients by promising large federal tax refunds through a fictitious United States government program called the “Black Investment Tax.''

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and Timothy Camus, Deputy Inspector General for Investigations, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), made the announcement.

Shirley Ann Womble and Tiffany Dawn Williams are each charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 286. Womble and Williams are also charged with eight counts and two counts, respectively, of filing false claims with the IRS, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 287.  If convicted, the defendants face a maximum statutory sentence of ten years’ imprisonment for the conspiracy charge, and a maximum statutory sentence of five years’ imprisonment for each of the false claims charges.

According to the indictment, Womble and Williams worked as independent tax preparers and solicited clients for their tax preparation business by promising large federal tax refunds through a fictitious United States government program called the “Black Investment Tax'' that provided reparations for slavery to African Americans, and/or other government grants. The defendants knew that a government program called the “Black Investment Tax'' did not actually exist.

Womble and Williams prepared and filed false federal income tax returns with false IRS forms for their clients claiming a $40,000 tax credit from the IRS. None of the clients actually provided the defendants with any documentation or other information to support claiming this tax credit based on any investment in the “Black Investment Tax.” The clients who received a refund from the IRS paid Womble and/or Williams approximately $10,000 as a fee for their services.

We encourage anyone who was solicited to receive a refund related to the fictitious “Black Investment Tax,'' that allegedly provided reparations for slavery to African Americans, to contact IRS-CI at (305) 982-5151.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI and TIGTA.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Schuster.

An indictment is merely an allegation and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
StopFraud
Tax
Updated September 29, 2016